Debate 101

Everyone speaks persuasively in their everyday life, whether they are engaging with teachers, parents, friends or co-workers. The skills that serve you well in these conversations are the same that will make your successful in policy debate.


In policy debate, the affirmative team proposes an idea, usually something that the government should do. They should describe both how the idea would work, and why it is a good idea. The negative has to prove that the affirmative's proposal is a bad idea, and do not have to offer a proposal of their own. 


Debate occurs in pairs. Students are identified as the first speaker and the second speaker, and which side of the debate they are arguing. 


There are two types of speeches, constructives and rebuttals. During a constructive speech, debaters are expected to support all of their claims with evidence and explain the warrants behind their case. During rebuttals, debaters shouldn't use evidence, and instead, should draw comparisons and explain why their ideas are superior.